Restoration of Sherborne House now secure with new owner
Sherborne House has been bought by a charitable trust specifically set up to protect the future of the magnificent Grade One Palladian building.
The House which has previously been used as a private residence and then a school has been empty since 2010. The House was a finalist in the second series of the BBC’s Restoration show hosted by Griff Rhys Jones and it remains in the hearts of most Sherborne residents.
Michael Cannon, Chair of the Sherborne House Trust 2018, explained: “We’re extremely excited to become custodians of Sherborne House and once the extensive restoration has been completed, we hope this magnificent building will be an integral part of the town again.”
Sherborne House Trust 2018 has been set up to restore the house and enable public access to a stunning Baroque mural by renowned artist Sir James Thornhill, whose work appears at St Paul’s Cathedral, Hampton Court and Blenheim Palace.
Sherborne House was previously owned by Dorset County Council who sold the building and its grounds to Redcliffe Homes in 2011 who built 44 new homes in the original walled garden. The company also completed a renovation of the main structural elements of the House to protect its long-term future, including extensive works to the renowned mural.
However, internally the house is almost a complete wreck, and there is a huge amount of work to do before it will be able to open its doors. The Trust will be liaising with Historic England and the local planners to ensure the restoration is carried out sympathetically.
Tom Connor, Managing Director of Redcliffe Homes commented: “Redcliffe Homes is delighted to have concluded the sale to the charitable Trust, ensuring that such a fine building will be put to good use for the benefit of the local community.”
The Friends of Sherborne House trustee, Jeremy Barker welcomed the news: “The Friends have been campaigning for over twenty years for the restoration of this magnificent house. The intervention of a new owner willing to take on the internal restoration is simply wonderful news and we look forward to giving them our full support.”